Monday, 30 June 2008

Oh my goodness!!! Just realised ...

Today is my first blogversary!!!

I'd nearly gone to bed when it struck me - it's exactly a year since I started musing online!

When I began, I was terrifically sceptical about blogs, bloggers and blogging. It all seemed horribly 'me, me, me' - self-absorbed, self-obsessed and very, very un-English and (perhaps therefore) un-me.

My first steps were extremely tentative. Furtive, almost!

Originally, I'd intended to use the blog merely as a vehicle to drive more 'traffic' towards my website and, hopefully, thereby to diversify my work a little.

But . . . after about a week (or less) I realised that in fact blogging was the perfect escape from work! And speaking as a self-employed, work-at-home person, I have to say that escaping from work is a rare treat and something of a necessity, though one which is surprisingly difficult to achieve. Work is always here. Piles and piles of it. On the PC from which I blog. On the desk on which my PC sits.

But blogging has opened up new worlds.

The past twelve months have been the most amazing journey.

Blogging has rescued me from dwelling on a series of downturns in my offline life, and offered a hugely positive way to reconnect with the outside world - and all from the comfort of my ergonomic, swivelling desk chair!

I have 'met', online, dozens of absolutely wonderful, lovely, generous, gifted, supportive, friendly, inspiring, entertaining people - from all over the world. Writers, artists, craftspeople, photographers, readers, philosophers, musicians, politicians, clergymen-and-women, and many quite extraordinary 'ordinary' people who blog.

My reading has become more focused, more critical, more rewarding.

I never go anywhere now without my trusty little camera. Musing about Mersea and about life in general has made me look at everything more closely, more creatively and with more appreciation.

My vague, random interest in sea glass - which I hesitated to mention at first - has led to correspondence with other collectors, with jewellers and painters, and has in turn (so I'm repeatedly told) inspired others to trudge along their local - or holiday - beaches with one eye ever on the lookout for these elusive and diminishing treasures.

I have a longish list of people, now, whom I think of as very dear friends but whom I've yet to meet in 'real life'. I plan to start with those in the UK (a large number of them seem to be in Devon for some reason!!) and then move on to those in Canada and the US and, who knows, maybe one day even Australia!

So watch out!

Oh, and I've even scooped up some work, after all! I have new clients who found me via Musings, visited my website and offered me work. But I regard this now as an incidental bonus. It's not at all what Musings is for.

I'm still not sure what 'Musings' is for.

But I'm going to carry on Musing, anyway . . .

Thanks for visiting. I hope you continue to find things of interest here. Do keep on posting comments - which, as every blogger knows, make it all seem worthwhile (and here I'd like to say a special 'hi' to my many 'silent' readers, and here's hoping that you'll be brave and say 'hi' back someday!)

Right, well, I've got that out of my system now, so I'm off to bed with a very good book.


Juliet xxxx


teabird said...

YAY! I'm the first commenter. I'm so glad that you started your blog, and I'm glad you're going to continue.


Anonymous said...

Juliet, I think I must have started visiting your blog only shortly after you started blogging, and I am now really surprised you've only been 'at it' for a year! Many congratulations!
I visit every day, and long may you continue to entertain, amuse, inform and delight us all.

GlassCurls said...

Happy anniversary Juliet! I love your pictures of the beach :-)

monix said...

Many, many happy returns. Is it really only a year? We'll have the biggest and best cream tea waiting for you when you make it to Devon. Mxx

Susie Vereker said...

Happy anniversary, Juliet. Yes, I'm enjoying blogging too, much more than I thought I would. It's made me look at, for example, my garden in a new way.
Impressed by the jam-making too!

Juliet said...

Thanks everyone!

I can't believe it's only a year, either . . . although the dust and clutter levels in my house are a sorry testimony to the fact that blogging takes up time that wasn't exactly idly employed before.

It's a LOT more fun than housework though!!

Greg Dunn said...

рфззн идщпвфнб огдшуе


Sodding cyrillic keyboard. The first line says Happy Blogday in Ukrainian, where I am residing by the Black Sea for a day, but couldn't resist visiting 'musings'.

Keep it up, gel, essential reading these days, you know.

Greg x

galant said...

Happy Blogday of yesterday! I love the freshness of your blog ... being by the sea helps, say I, speaking as one who also lives within a mile of the beach!
But what a coincidence: I have just received a book via, and the opening line of this romantic novel is: "Liv searched among the pebbles for pieces of coloured glass. When she was very little, she had believed they were jewels: emeralds, sapphires, diamonds, and - a rare find - a red stone, like a ruby. Her father, Fin, had explained to her that they were glass, polished by the sea ..."
It was through your blog that I've had my attention drawn to sea glass, something I'd never considered collecting before, and here, on your first anniversary, a book has arrived mentioning this!
Margaret Powling

Juliet said...

Greg - well who's to know whether that's what it really says or not!! Thanks anyway, and look forward to seeing all the pics. Needless to say, Ukraine is one more of the several million places on earth which I've never visited!

Margaret - gosh, yes what an amazing coincidence - how lovely. You MUST tell me the name of book!!! btw, bought a copy of Essex Life this month (the one with the Mersea beach-huts on the cover) and found your antiques column.

Anonymous said...

Manny happy returns of the day, Juliet! I look forward to visiting you every day. What are you reading now?

Anonymous said...

Bringing up the rear . . . happy anniversary, dear cyber-friend. Is it only a year? Seems as if we have been exchanging comments etc etc etc for longer than that. (Oh, that's a compliment by the way, just in case you were wondering.)

I'll have to send you some virtual cake, given that the elderflower champagne is now off the menu (sob sob).

Juliet said...

D - thank you and yes it does seem longer (and that's a compliment too!!) Such a shame about the elderflower champagne. Could you turn it into, eg, hair conditioner? Or bathe in it? There must be some good use for buckets full of the stuff. [NB mystified readers please look here !] I will drink some e/f cordial tonight and think of you!

PS plenty of abominations on the virtual cake please!

Juxtabook said...

Happy birthday to Musings. Like you I appreciate the 'change' from the day job, and the contact, however virtual with people and their places and books. Important when you work alone at home! I really enjoy your work on here. Thank, and here's to the next year.
Best wishes, Catherine

Anonymous said...

Sorry I'm a day late -- life, keeps intervening -- but happy birthday! I enjoy reading your blog and hope to do so for many months and years yet. It is a great medium, I agree.

Juliet said...

Catherine - thanks and sorry that I didn't mention Booksellers in my list of fab people I've 'met' through blogging!

Maxine - thank you, and don't worry, I was very nearly a day late myself!

Martin Edwards said...

I'm habitually unpunctual, I'm afraid, but warmest if belated congratulations anyway!

Juliet said...

Thanks Martin.

Kim Velk said...

Hey There Juliet -
I am happy that I googled "Gladys Peto" those few months ago and came to your island. I haven't left since. I think I check back here nearly each day. "Musings" is not only a great place to come and read and see beautiful pictures but also my blogging inspiration. Congrats and Cheers.

Juliet said...

Kim - I'm delighted you made that Google search too! For many years I was the only person I knew who owned and loved a Gladys Peto book. It was fantastic discovering so much about her on your blog, and of course subsequently there's been the whole Transatlantic Tea Cup Thing (btw, I'm not finished yet - there are yet more lurking in cupboards around the place!) This kind of cross-fertilisation of interests and ideas around the world has been one of the greatest revelations and pleasures of the blogosphere for me this past year.

Cat said...

Happy B-Day!

galant said...

Hi Juliet,

First of all, the book I mentioned which has the opening sentence about sea glass is Judith Lennox's The Dark-Eyed Girls. I have come late to the writing of Judith Lennox. I knew of her, and even had a couple of her paperbacks on the shelf for years (unread) before I disposed of them, thinking that I'd never get around to reading them. And then I bought Written on Glass and loved it and since then I've been trying to obtain all her books in hardback as I know I shall want to keep them (even though hardbacks eat up space!)
Second, I'm delighted you have bought Essex Life and seen my antiques column. I've been writing this for two+ years now and really enjoy the challenge of 'covering' a subject in around 500 words! The photos are usually my own, too - hope you liked the little Beatrix Potter squirrel which was a present to me when I was six years old (no, I won't mention the year!)
Margaret Powling

Anonymous said...

oh! can't find my comment. Shall I try again (hope I didn't say anything you didn't like).
Just wanted to add my congratulations and to say that even though we live on the same island, I am always overwhelmed with joy at the lovely photos of Mersea. Thank you for all your wonderful blogging. Teresa :-)

Juliet said...

Margaret - thanks for all the info. I can't promise to buy Essex Life every month, but one of their photographers was at an event I attended recently so no doubt I shall be buying the one in which those appear! I will check out Judith Lennox as well.

Teresa - thanks so much for your kind words. I'm afraid your previous comment just didn't turn up. I rarely reject comments unless they are clearly from spammers, and I would never have mistaken you for one of those!! Glad you like the island pics - I worry that they get a bit 'samey' after a while, although of course no two sunsets are ever exactly alike. And there's me planning on going all the way down to Devon to meet up with some fellow bloggers and we must live within three miles of each other and I've never even bumped into you in the Co-op!! We'll have to remedy that sometime (I tend to hang out round the chocolate and the wine most days!!)

Jane Badger said...

And a very belated happy birthday from me too! There are very few blogs I read each day, but yours is one.

Anonymous said...

The chocolate and wine - then we must have met without realizing! T ;-)